Life is incredibly short, but not in the way you might think. It’s not that we aren’t given enough time, but rather that we squander most of it. I’ve written about time investment and only dealing with women of high interest level, but this concept is so crucial to living well that it bears expounding. Lucius Seneca, a Stoic Roman philosopher, wrote a letter titled ‘On The Shortness Of Life’ a couple millennia ago, but its message is timeless. When you have an hour and a clear head, I urge you to read it.
The majority of mortals, Paulinus, complain bitterly of the spitefulness of Nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, because even this space that has been granted to us rushes by so speedily and so swiftly that all save a very few find life at an end just when they are getting ready to live.
It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.
The crux of my previous posts is to become ruthless with yourself and how you spend your time on anything and with anyone. I pity those in long term relationships on the verge of collapse, as I’ve been there myself. Even worse are loveless, dead end marriages, where the former shell of a man resides in what amounts to hell on Earth. Although your humble narrator is fairly young, my biggest regrets are wasting so much time in my early 20′s devoted to girls with whom I had no interest in pursuing anything significant.
What you can do, effective immediately, is think about the time sinks in your life and how to cut them out. If you’re in a relationship headed nowhere, it would behoove you to realize that these are moments forever lost and if they’re not moments you gladly remember, it’s time to move on. If you’re single, stop wasting a single moment on people who don’t reciprocate your interest. Women are fairly adept at pragmatic dating, but men, for some reason, are handicapped and don’t let go until they’ve invested much more than necessary.
Remember: time is your most precious resource.
In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal. And so I should like to lay hold upon someone from the company of older men and say: “I see that you have reached the farthest limit of human life, you are pressing hard upon your hundredth year, or are even beyond it; come now, recall your life and make a reckoning. Consider how much of your time was taken up with a moneylender, how much with a mistress, how much with a patron, how much with a client, how much in wrangling with your wife, how much in punishing your slaves, how much in rushing about the city on social duties. Add the diseases which we have caused by our own acts, add, too, the time that has lain idle and unused; you will see that you have fewer years to your credit than you count.
This is the real issue; this is heart wrenching regret that red pill men experience. And the longer the waste, the longer the pain. It is for this reason that getting dumped hurts: more than an ego bruise, it’s a realization that you spent weeks, months, years, perhaps even decades, investing your soul in someone never to return. Imagine putting half your paycheck in company stock only to have it disappear.
‘Live every day like it’s your last’ is so cliché, so overused that it lost its meaning. It’s not about being careless or not planning for the future, but rather enjoying the process – and if the process isn’t enjoyable, don’t do it. If you’re constantly fighting with your significant other, let go now before you waste another day living for someone else. Because there’s no guarantee that your life will play out how you want or that you’ll exist long enough to see the fruits of your labor, whatever you labor in must be meaningful in the present.
The condition of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but most wretched is the condition of those who labour at preoccupations that are not even their own, who regulate their sleep by that of another, their walk by the pace of another, who are under orders in case of the freest things in the world—loving and hating. If these wish to know how short their life is, let them reflect how small a part of it is their own.
And here’s the nail in the coffin. What are you spending your time on? Who are you spending your time on? Looking back on today 5, 10, 50 years from now, will you remember it as time well spent, will you try to rationalize it away, or will you be miserable knowing that you spent the larger portion merely existing? Do you feel free, or are you living for someone else?
The only person holding you back is yourself. Unhappy in your relationship? Make preparations and leave. Unhappy in your job? Make preparations and leave. Unhappy with your body, with your health? Stop putting it off and do something about it.
Because at the end of it all, you’re ultimately responsible for how life turned out.